10 things Lismore needs in the next 10 years
LISMORE is a hive of development at the moment, with the Lismore Base Hospital expansion, a new $10 million CBD office block, new housing estates, and a potential new retail centre in the pipeline.
But beyond all this, there are still plenty of things that Lismore needs.
When we put the call out for readers to contribute their ideas on Facebook, we were swamped with suggestions.
Here's 10 of the most popular:
1. AN IKEA
It seems everyone on the Northern Rivers loves Ikea, but the closest one is two hours away.
How about plonking one right in the middle of available industrial land next to the Lismore airport or at the Masters site?
It would capture a market from Grafton to Tweed, and from Tenterfield to Ballina.
2. A WATER PARK
Yes Lismore has two public pools, but the people of Lismore need more than that to stop them driving to the coast on hot days.
Building a proper water park would be a great way to entertain kids during hot school holidays and weekends and there would be no nagging about driving to the Gold Coast.
3. BRING BACK THE TRAINS
This probably topped the list of Facebook suggestions from our passionate readers.
It seems everyone would like to bring back the old train service from Casino to Murwillumbah, especially those in Lismore who could once catch a lazy train to Main Beach in Byron Bay on a weekend.
Several readers suggested bringing back the train would also boost tourism to the town. While the expense of bringing back trains makes it seem unlikely, we couldn't ignore people's passion for trains.
4. BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORT, GENERALLY
Getting from point A to point B (without a car) on the Northern Rivers is a bit of a joke, it seems.
Everyone pines for better public transport.
How about a bus system that runs more regularly and directly between town to town, and provides people from Lismore's surrounds to get into town with ease, and also get them to the coast and back in a morning or day if they need.
Costco, with its giant versions of things like peanut butter and mayonnaise, seems to be the place everyone wants to shop these days, even eclispsing ALDI in the cult shopping stakes.
Judging from our readers' responses, Lismore definitely needs a Costco.
6. MORE STUFF FOR KIDS AND THE YOUNG AT HEART
Our readers reckon there's not enough fun stuff for kids to do in and around Lismore.
So based on the feedback we have a list of suggestions, which include a larger indoor play centre, laser skirmish centre, ice skating rink, resurfacing the Lismore skate park, and a rock climbing centre.
7. GET RID OF THE ARTY ARK
This isn't really a "what Lismore needs" as much as a "what Lismore doesn't need".
The Ark on Woodlark St has plenty of haters.
We're not expressing an opinion here at The Northern Star, but reflecting what people have written on Facebook, they want the Ark gone for good.
8. MORE FOOD
People can't get enough of franchise food stores, and here's a few chains that Lismore people seem to want:
- Krispy Kreme
- Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
- A drive through Zarraffas coffee shop
- Muffin Break
- Sushi Train.
9. ALL-NEEDS ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND
It seems Ballina has better access for people with disabilities than Lismore, according to commenters.
Ellizabeth Smyth suggested the idea of an all needs playground, and the comment was followed up with glowing endorsements from others.
Linda Cameron said that Lismore also needed an all hours bathroom with hoist and adjustable bed for parents and carers "when out and about in Lismore".
"Ballina has one," she added.
It's about the economy, stupid!
Yes, there were plenty of pragmatic realists who simply argued Lismore needs more jobs.
With a high youth unemployment rate and low income averages compared to the big cities, there's no doubt that more job opportunities are probably the most important thing for Lismore.